A 13-year-old boy who last year got a decade-long prison sentence for blasphemy is now going to walk free.
During an altercation with a friend in northern Kano state, he was convicted by an Islamic court in August for making uncomplimentary remarks about God.
But on Thursday, a secular appellate court reversed the sentence, claiming the child was a minor.
The decision by a Sharia court last year provoked international criticism.
“negate[d] all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria – and by implication, Kano state – has signed on to”negates[d] all the core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that have been signed by Nigeria – and, by implication, Kano State.
The authorities in the state of Kano seem disappointed with the dismissal of the case against the minor. The BBC was told by state Attorney General Musa Lawan that they would consider appealing against the verdict.
Kano is one of 12 Nigerian states that, alongside the secular laws of the country, follow the Sharia legal system.
In northern Nigeria, where only Muslims can be tried in the Sharia courts, Muslims form the majority.
In another blasphemy case, the appeals court has ordered a retrial, involving a singer sentenced to death by the court of Sharia for using lyrics found blasphemous against the Prophet Muhammad.
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